I rarely carry cash. Credit cards are less cumbersome and give me a detailed transaction history. Until this new apartment, I never lived particularly close to an ATM, and I think we can all agree that transaction fees for machines not owned by your bank are ridiculous. Also, and I know this is slightly Grinch-y of me, but it is easier to tell homeless folks, “I don’t carry cash,” than to just say no. This is very often true, so I am not lying. And I often say it reflexively, even if I remember later that I did have cash.

Nevertheless, there is one situation where it is important to have cash when shopping: going to a locally-owned store. The credit card fees that are charged by Visa/AmEx/MC to the store owner are significant for independent operations. Paying in cash allows the store to keep their profits. In the case of some stores, product prices have gone up to compensate for so many credit card transactions, which affects everyone, even those paying in cash.

Today I had to make a quick run to the quilting store in Powderhorn (seriously, how awesome is my part of South Minneapolis?), which is a family-owned store that’s been there for several decades. There is no reason for me to not have $4 in cash to pay for the seam ripper.

And that’s the end of today’s lecture.



One response to “Cash

  1. Interesting! I never thought about the wider implications of cash v. credit (other than adding to Bank of America’s profit margin, of course).

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